Derby County Baseball Club
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Baseball was introduced to Derby by Francis Ley, an industrialist who owned Ley's Malleable Castings. Following a visit to the United States of America in 1889, Ley decided that, as a way of ensuring a healthier and more productive workforce, an investment should be made in promoting recreation for his workers. During his journey to the States, Ley had seen the way in which baseball fields had been laid out by companies and factories for the use by their workers and decided to follow suit on his return to Derby. Consequently, Ley had the Baseball Ground built; a 12-acre (49,000 m2) park for the use of workers with cricket and baseball facilities.
The club ran away with the first championship after the National Baseball League of Great Britain and Ireland was established in 1890. However, pressure from other teams in the league over the number of American players on the Derby team forced Derby to resign at the end of the league's first season, though the baseball club itself lasted until 1898.
The Baseball Ground continued to be used under that name as the home of football's Derby County F.C. from 1895 to 1997.
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